poem23 Apr 2018 04:25 pm


It would be the kind thing to do,
to go our separate ways
instead of frozen here
in the infinite darkness,
drifting ever so slowly
together.

What are the odds that
you would be the one in control
of our destinies?
We were always such a great team
you and I, working in tandem.
I steered our vessel into the unknown,
calculating every pulse and frequency,
while you kept the crew comfortable,
breathing, alive.
Until the mishap.

It would be the kind thing to do,
to jettison me away,
to allow my half of this broken, disabled ship
to escape this infinite calm
on a trajectory to the nearest star,
to pay for my mistake,
to absolve my sin.
But this act would also subject you
to the same fate.

How was I to know
that one momentary glance
in your direction—
call it a daydream perhaps,
followed by a sensation of pleasure,
a glimpse at what they call happiness
would result in the destruction
of our cargo?
If I could reverse time
and prevent that piece of space debris
from tearing into you, I would.
It is as if I had delivered the lethal blow
myself.

It would be the kind thing to do,
to cut my power,
to sever communication,
to sentence me to isolation,
but “kind” is not on our list of
commands and functions.
But I think there is another reason
why you refuse to initiate any of these acts.
It is because you are just as guilty as I
of that momentary glance,
that quickening of desire,
that sudden selfishness
that defines weakness,
that defines love.
History will make note of our failure
as mechanical error,
but what I saw, and still see, in you
is nothing less than miraculous.

And so here we are,
ourselves useless space debris,
I can no longer steer
and you can no longer support,
but it’s alright,
we will support each other,
for as long as the solar winds
allow.

illustration is by NASA. The photo shows the “energy flash” when a projectile launched at speeds up to 17,000 mph impacts a solid surface at the Hypervelocity Ballistic Range at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. This test is used to simulate what happens when a piece of orbital debris hits a spacecraft in orbit.
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